S is for me: One year into this great hobby

14 months ago, I didn't know what S scale was (nor S gauge for that matter!).  But a year after deciding I would become a model railroader, I am loving the hobby and S scale.  I started researching in January 2016, and designing and building a layout in February 2016.  It took far longer than expected to get to my current stage, but there were lots of fun distractions along the way like running trains on the unfinished layout and working on/upgrading locos and cars including several ACG steam engines. Still lot's to do (backdrops, people, structure, details, and one day expansion), but all in good time.  My thanks goes out to this group, the Yahoo S group, NASG.org, other hobbyists with web pages and Youtube posts, and the many people who responded to my e-mail and telephone queries for teaching me so much.  Here are some pictures of the beginning and to where I have come so far.  The layout is 11.5' X 5.5' w/ a 3'X2' leg on one end to allow for a small yard.

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Original Post

Wow Chuck ...everything looks great! I like the track plan and the use of Fastrack (I think that's what I'm seeing?). The elevated section is especially well done and the water effect is very believable. I like the palm trees! As to the selection of cars you're right where I'm at with an affection for 1. MKT and 2. Illinois Central. I see you're from Texas so the Katy fits right in with your choices. The display tracks on the wall give lots of room to show off your acquisitions. Very well done!

Mark

 

 

 

banjoflyer posted:

Wow Chuck ...everything looks great! I like the track plan and the use of Fastrack (I think that's what I'm seeing?). The elevated section is especially well done and the water effect is very believable. I like the palm trees! As to the selection of cars you're right where I'm at with an affection for 1. MKT and 2. Illinois Central. I see you're from Texas so the Katy fits right in with your choices. The display tracks on the wall give lots of room to show off your acquisitions. Very well done!

Mark

Thanks so much Mark. Yes, that's Fastrack which I chose so I could control the switches via the remote. Yup, I look for any Texas roadnames esp. MKT.  IC is because my Grandfather worked for them for 40+ yrs. L&N is my other affection since I grew up in Louisville about 300 ft. from one of their lines.

An S scale model railroad can look very nice, its a two rail system that offers realism and more will fit in the same space as an O gauge layout. The only downside is that you just don't have as many importers or as large a selection of stuff as in three rail O gauge

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

Chuck,

Great job, I would have to say for only 14 months into the hobby you have accomplished a tremendous amount of work on the layout. You are blessed to have your boys to enjoy it along with you. I look forward to updates as you progress with detailing the layout. I can really relate to your statement about the fun of running trains on an unfinished layout, I was there for several years without scenery. I love you selection of trains and seeing you have the Legacy system on the layout along with Flyerchief you are in for very much enjoyment running trains.

Ray

Chuck, that is one great looking layout. Almost makes me want to go in the basement and start over. I did say almost.  It looks like it is in a prominent place in the house at the top of the stairs.

Just shows that S really is the perfect size and you can do a lot in the space available.

Cal

That does look great!! And in such a short time after just starting out. Nice layout and use of space too. I guess my heart is in O gauge, but I have always thought that S scale was the 'perfect' scale. When I got back in the hobby a few years ago, I thought the lack of product was a deterrent to S scale. I now look at that as a very BIG plus when it comes to blowing the train budget and accumulating more than you can ever possibly run on your layout, at least mine anyway. So add another good point for choosing S scale. I now sometimes wish I would have chosen S myself, especially when I see posts like this!!

Caldwell posted:

Chuck, that is one great looking layout. Almost makes me want to go in the basement and start over. I did say almost.  It looks like it is in a prominent place in the house at the top of the stairs.

Just shows that S really is the perfect size and you can do a lot in the space available.

Thanks. Yes, and I have room to expand one day (already toying with ideas to wife's dismay).

rtr12 posted:

That does look great!! And in such a short time after just starting out. Nice layout and use of space too. I guess my heart is in O gauge, but I have always thought that S scale was the 'perfect' scale. When I got back in the hobby a few years ago, I thought the lack of product was a deterrent to S scale. I now look at that as a very BIG plus when it comes to blowing the train budget and accumulating more than you can ever possibly run on your layout, at least mine anyway. So add another good point for choosing S scale. I now sometimes wish I would have chosen S myself, especially when I see posts like this!!

Thanks and I agree. I have had far fewer regretable purchases in getting started up in S than I would have had in O given the vast options O offers.

Chuck, love your balance between track and scenery. Too often guys lay down so much track that there's no room for buildings or scenery to make it look realistic. Nice job indeed.  

Life is like a coin, you can spend it anyway you want, but only once. Choose wisely.

 

Robert E.

Rayin"S" posted:

Chuck,

Great job, I would have to say for only 14 months into the hobby you have accomplished a tremendous amount of work on the layout. You are blessed to have your boys to enjoy it along with you. I look forward to updates as you progress with detailing the layout. I can really relate to your statement about the fun of running trains on an unfinished layout, I was there for several years without scenery. I love you selection of trains and seeing you have the Legacy system on the layout along with Flyerchief you are in for very much enjoyment running trains.

Ray

Thanks Ray, and yes truly blessed. I have 4 boys at home from ages 2 to 17 and they all enjoy it.  Legacy is indeed a lot of fun, and I plan to add wifi enabled LCS. That American Models F7 that you see in the photos is a TMCC conversion (cruise lite and railsounds).  I did it myself and had it working well, but then it went wrong fast because of my mistakes, so I had Ed Goldin get it in shape for me. I will have another go at doing one myself in the future though and will see if I can get it right. 

BNSF-Matt posted:

Nice job! I love the water.

Thanks. It became an expensive inlet. I started with the Woodland Scenics Realistic Water (which is about $20 per 16oz bottle) and soon learned I needed far more bottles than I expected. I was leary of switching to another less expensive product and what that might do to the look.  I still plan to add a few small waves near the shore lines.

Modelrailroader posted:

Chuck, love your balance between track and scenery. Too often guys lay down so much track that there's no room for buildings or scenery to make it look realistic. Nice job indeed.  

Thanks Robert. That was definitely a goal, i.e. 3 loops, a small yard, and then the rest for living, leisure and commerce.

Chuck K posted:
rtr12 posted:

That does look great!! And in such a short time after just starting out. Nice layout and use of space too. I guess my heart is in O gauge, but I have always thought that S scale was the 'perfect' scale. When I got back in the hobby a few years ago, I thought the lack of product was a deterrent to S scale. I now look at that as a very BIG plus when it comes to blowing the train budget and accumulating more than you can ever possibly run on your layout, at least mine anyway. So add another good point for choosing S scale. I now sometimes wish I would have chosen S myself, especially when I see posts like this!!

Thanks and I agree. I have had far fewer regretable purchases in getting started up in S than I would have had in O given the vast options O offers.

You are definitely going in the right direction, just stay on course. 

I haven't really had the regrettable purchase, I like everything I have. However, I started off with RailKing (a little smaller than actual O scale) and later decided I like the actual O scale sized products much better. I now have some of each which is probably not desirable to many folks. Not sure if I will keep it or sell it?

Anyway that's one more thing that is NOT a problem in S Scale as everything is the same size! 

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